Benfica have a good season. They are on the top of Portuguese league, four points ahead of the biggest rival Porto. In Europe, Benfica played in Champions league, but finished third in the group, behind Barcelona and Celtic. That is why they are playing in UEFA Europe League now. And they are playing good. Benfica are on a run of four consecutive wins in the competition. Double victories over Bayer Leverkusen and Bordeaux proved the power of Portuguese giant.
Newcastle have a traumatic season. At the moment they are deeply involved into the relegation battle in the domestic Premiership. Newcastle is only three points out of the drop zone and because of that I believe the manager Alan Pardew will be focused on the following match against Fulham on Sunday. But that’s not the only problem for Pardew. He also has some fitness worries. Massadio Haidara, Cheikh Tiote and Fabricio Coloccini are all rated as doubtful, while Ryan Taylor, Haris Vuckic, Mathieu Debuchy and Hatem Ben Arfa will be definitely sidelined.
I also have some doubts over Newcastle away form in Europe. The Magpies have scored only one goal on the last three matches as guest.I think Benfica is closer to the victory.